Marketing Segmentation – Brian Kurtz

Marketing Segmentation in Direct Response – Brian Kurtz

Mar 20, 2020

In this episode, Cheryl and Brian Kurtz discuss: 

  • Overdeliver to your customer base and master the long game.
  • Direct Response Marketing; The importance of “romancing your audience” with a great story. 
  • Differentiation in Marketing; Why direct marketing should be a component of your brand strategy. 
  • Segmentation in Marketing; Customer service, fulfillment, and their marketing functions.
  • Multi-Channel Marketing; Defining your personal brand to distinguish yourself from the competition. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Segment your list and decide who gets what message, and when. 
  • Use direct marketing in ways that differentiate your brand.   
  • Direct response marketing is more alive than ever. Just look at the Internet. 
  • Multi-channel marketing is vital to grow your business. 

“You have to romance the audience. I call it fishing without bait.” —  Brian Kurtz 

Connect with Brian Kurtz:  
Website: overdeliverbook.com
Books: Overdeliver and The Advertising Solution
Free Resource: BrianKurtz.net
Facebook: TitansMarketing
Email:   support@titansofdirectresponse.com
YouTube: Brian Kurtz

Connect with Cheryl Hodgson:  
Website: brandaide.com
Twitter:  twitter.com/brandaide
Facebook:  facebook.com/brandaide
Email:  cheryl@brandaide.com
Show: brandaidepodcast.com
YouTube: youtube.com/user/BrandaideTV
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/cherylhodgson
Instagram:  instagram.com/brandaide

Today on the Brandaide Podcast:

Brian Kurtz [0:02]

That's why an email today, if you have a big email list of buyers and prospects, for instance, if you're not talking to them differently, you're crazy. You have VIPs who have paid money to you, and you have a bunch of prospects.

Intro [0:21]

Welcome to Brandaide where we answer the question, what does it take to launch your own brand (R)evolution, create Evolution, and who are the people that help you foster Connection, Community, Contribution, and Currency for a Brand built to last? You will also meet brands changing the world and the lives of those they serve. Here's your host, Cheryl Hodgson.

Cheryl Hodgson [0:43]

Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Brandaide podcast. I'm your host Cheryl Hodgson. I'd like to welcome our guest Brian Kurtz today. Brian is a legend in the direct marketing field. He has built a company called Boardroom Inc, which was his first career for 35 years. And he has moved on to his second career, which, what is the name?

Brian Kurtz [01:08]

Titans Marketing.

Cheryl Hodgson [01:09]

Titans Marketing! There you go. See, I'm trying not to read from a bio.

Brian Kurtz [1:13]

It's only five years, so I haven't had time to build the brand yet.

Cheryl Hodgson [1:16]

Well, we're going to work on that today, or at least discuss it. So I'd like to welcome you Brian. I'm going to read just a little bit about Brian's background. Brian has published two books. His most recent book is Overdeliver: Build a Business for a Lifetime Playing the Long Game in Direct Response Marketing. And it is his opus, not his memoir. His first book, The Advertising Solution profiles, six legends of advertising and copywriting, including Jean Schwartz and Gary Halbert. As a business-to-consumer marketer, Brian was responsible for selling over a billion dollars of products, $39 at a time, to millions of people, and that we're going to discuss more about. So welcome, Brian. And let's just share it I thought we were recording, and I'm not sure we were, so we're starting over!

Brian Kurtz [2:11]

Yeah. So it'll be a different interview now we'll talk about veterinary medicine or something.

Cheryl Hodgson [2:18]

I'm so happy you're here. Thank you for joining us, and I appreciate you making time out of your schedule to be on the podcast.

Brian Kurtz [2:26]

I'm really excited about it. I think I like the idea of branding and I don't like the idea of branding.

Cheryl Hodgson [2:30]

I understand. I heard in our earlier conversation that the word "Branding" gives you hives.

Brian Kurtz [2:36]

Yeah, it does and so does "Publicity" and so does “Public Relations", because I'm used to being a direct marketer. And what that means is that everything you do in marketing is measurable. Everything you do, you buy a Facebook ad, you buy a list, you do an email campaign, and it either pays out or it doesn't. And some things don't have to because online marketing today is a lot less expensive than it was at Boardroom when I did a lot of direct mail. But everything's got to achieve something, everything you do has to lead to something that will eventually get your money back if you're paying for some kind of media. The key with branding, is that that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. I will say that if you have a brand or don't have a brand, you need to know how well=known you are to the audience that you're going out to all the time. So if I know that I have this sliver of an audience, but everybody knows my brand, I'm going to use that if I'm going out to a very wide audience and no one knows who I am. And I'll tell you, with Boardroom our brand was really Bottom Line Personal. It was a big consumer newsletter that we had, and most of the audience that we were going out to get new subscribers to that newsletter didn't know who we are. So we were the most unknown brand, and yet we had over half a million subscribers. How did we get there? We didn't get there by selling the brand to new audiences. We got there by selling what's in the newsletter, what they're going to get. And then once they became a subscriber, then we sold the brand of Bottom Line Personal. And that's why we had Bottom Line Books division, and Bottom Line Secrets was our website. So you go where the puck is going, not where it is. So you always go to where the audience is going, and you roll with them. But if you're going out to new audiences, you have to know how well known your brand is. Because in direct marketing, it might mean absolutely nothing, and then you have a much longer selling process.

Cheryl Hodgson [4:45]

I think that's true of anybody unless they've got a ton of money to launch with, which a consumer brand requires nowadays. It's really built one customer at a time. Some of the top people I've had the chance to speak with in branding would say, "it's like the game of Telephone". The best referrals, for me even as a professional, my best referrals don't come from marketing, or advertising. My best referrals come from word of mouth from another client. Who say, "Call Cheryl." Then they're pre-sold, pre-ready, they're ready to work with me. There's no sales process.

Brian Kurtz [5:22]

Dan Sullivan talks about the five ways we get paid. And the fifth one to me is Reward which is money or compensation, things like referrals, your authority, and all those things. You have to build them up to get to the sale. And so I'm not saying that everything has to pay out, that you have to sell all the time, but you need to romance your audience. You need to do a lot of things with your audience and if they don't know who you are, you've got to tell a story, you've got to be able to craft that. it's a lot of finesse.

Cheryl Hodgson [6:01]

Yes, and it never ends. That's a lot of what we talked about. And we had talked about the three words that I've been working with, and I love what you had suggested: Connection, Contribution, and Currency. And you're the one that suggested the word Contribution, that it's making a contribution and being of service and value to others that help build that brand first.

Brian Kurtz [6:23]

First. Because a lot of people are generally, if you're in a b2b environment, and you're going out selling in a very tough business, they come out with asks that are out of nowhere. And you have to romance the audience. I call it fishing without bait. If you're on a lake, and you're throwing a line in the water and the fish are in the water, that's your potential customers. You have an offer, which is your which is your worm on the hook, and the fish comes in and you pull them in the boat and then you sell them all this other stuff. Whereas I like to look at it like you can fish without bait. And that's basically, I shine a spotlight over the lake. I don't know when those fish are going to be ready to buy, but I'm going to prepare them to buy with a story, with what I'm about. And this goes to brand, it can go to brand. It's what I really want to do with them long term, make them a long-term customer. They might not be ready right now. But I want them to know that when they're ready, I'm here, so you keep on giving them content. You keep on giving them value, and that's the spotlight. And generally you can throw bait in the water that links to the content that you've given them for free. Or some people are just going to jump in the boat, some fish are just going to jump in the boat and you get both that way. And it's not that you shouldn't have an offer, and you shouldn't fish with bait once in a while. But there's a lot to fishing without bait, and I love it.

Cheryl Hodgson [7:55]

I can tell that you've been great at that. Let's go back to your original 35 years where you had such success with the $39 and the direct marketing response. At that point, I would imagine you weren't thinking about a brand.

Brian Kurtz [8:08]

We weren't, but we started the company, it was called Boardroom Reports. We started in 1972. I'm way too young to be there then. I got there in 1981. And, in 81, we launched Bottom Line Personal. So Boardroom Reports was a business newsletter for executives, mostly at home address, but they were executives, they were affluent. Boardroom was teaching them, not what was happening at IBM at the time or what was happening in the big companies. That was for Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Forbes. But we wanted to really tell them how to hire, how to fire. Really specific information on running a business. It was a good little business. It was around for 10 years. Hard to find lists of smaller business people who want to learn. But we got up to about 150,000 subscribers. We published some books, which were also business books, and everything was through direct mail. We didn't have a brand, no one knew who we were.

Cheryl Hodgson [9:07]

And there was no internet. So you were doing all this by direct mail,

Brian Kurtz [9:09]

All of this through direct mail. This is definitely in prehistoric times. And so it was all direct mail. And we knew that our brand was unknown. So our sales letters were longer. If we're going out to the Forbes list, we needed to sell them on Boardroom Reports when they didn't even know what the hell Boardroom Reports was. So that was the first ten years with books and all that. Within our audience, that 150,000 who bought Boardroom Reports, they then know our brand. So then we started pitching our book division to that. And we had a book called The Book of Business Knowledge which sold a hundred thousand copies. And it was sold under the name Boardroom Books. And that was legitimate because it was the people who knew our brand already. As time went on, we started launching new newsletters, we launched the tax newsletter. And then we launched this newsletter called Bottom Line Personal and it took off. Again, we weren't selling it with the Boardroom brand. It was completely separate, because it was the executive at home, Bottom Line Personal. And yet it grew so rapidly with long sales letters to outside lists. And we developed the brand, unbeknownst to us, and we got to about 500,000 subscribers. And long story short, 20 years after Boardroom Reports was launched, we had Bottom Line Personal going gangbusters. So Boardroom Reports was kind of an outlier in our stable of products. Because then everything became consumer. We had health products, we had consumer products, we had financial products. So Boardroom Reports was this outlier for business people. So what we did was we changed the name of Boardroom Reports to Bottom Line Business, and it took off again, because the audience had a brand identification with Bottom Line. And I tell that story in my book

Cheryl Hodgson [10:58]

And which book do you tell that?

Brian Kurtz [11:00]

In Overdeliver I talk about it.

Cheryl Hodgson [11:02]

Well, I think that's a very important point. Because what I hear from that story is that you built a connection, you hit a chord, that connection to the audience. They related to not only the message, but you also had a memorable name. Not that there was anything wrong with Boardroom.

Brian Kurtz [11:21]

I think it's a memorable name too, but Bottom Line Personal is what it is.

Cheryl Hodgson [11:26]

But the Bottom Line to me is, do you ever have that experience I do all the time? It makes me crazy now because especially consumer brands, these young startups, they're so desperate to find a unique name, that the names are, you walk out and, "what was the name of that? I can't remember it." It's not easy to remember.

Brian Kurtz [11:46]

It's not only easy to remember, some stuff is, also the name could be related to the product. So Bottom Line, because it was financial information, the idea of Bottom Line and all that. But look then you look at names like Amazon and Hulu, they're good. I mean, Amazon's a pretty decent company. And it doesn't really have a link to, ecommerce and everything.

Cheryl Hodgson [12:10]

It's a metaphor, that's a chapter in my book, an entire chapter in my book that I just wrote and published is about my first client, which I won't go into here now. But he didn't register his name, and the name of his first website was Amazon Networks. And he launched within three months of Amazon, totally innocently, and he was not even related in what they were doing. And he never bothered to stake out his turf by registering a trademark, and six years later, Amazon sued him and accused him of being a cyber squatter, and there was nothing further from the truth. But the metaphor for Amazon was the Amazon River. And in a way, it's like the jungle of the internet. That's the metaphor.

Brian Kurtz [12:54]

But I don't think people necessarily get that. But there are some brands that are just, the name is part of it. But sometimes it's not, and I think you got to get lucky with it, I guess.

Cheryl Hodgson [13:09]

The name is very important, because the biggest problem from my perspective is, I see people choose names that are not very good names. They're not legally protectable. They use a lot of common prefixes and suffixes that it's hard to distinguish them in the market. But the bigger issue that comes back to what we were talking about a minute ago, which is “how do I connect with the customer?" And in some ways, the best way I can see that is my own personal experience when I have a bad experience, I can love a brand. And I can have a great relationship and be a loyal customer. But the bottom-line experience of a brand is when I need to interact with somebody, it still comes down to, "how am I going to be treated on the other end of the phone?" And "how are they going to stand behind their product?"

Brian Kurtz [13:59]

I have a chapter of my book which is Customer Service and Fulfillment and their Marketing Functions. Because the lifetime value of a customer must go through everything from beginning to end. And it takes a second to lose a five-year customer. The wrong thing. The story I tell in my book about that is, in the 80s and 90s, I used to sit at my desk late, like eight, nine o'clock some nights and if the phone rang, there was no automated attendant. And so I picked up the phone, and I knew it was a complaint. And I used to play a game as to “how can I get this customer who's really pissed off about something, to love the company and love me?" Didn't make it every time but I made it most times, because I would figure out what they needed and what they were looking for. But that's what you do all the time, not just on a phone call, but you need to do that as you're interacting with your existing customers. That's why an email today, if you have a big email list of buyers and prospects, for instance, if you're not talking to them differently, you're crazy. You have VIPs who have paid money to you, and you have a bunch of prospects. Now you want to talk nice to everybody, because everybody is a potential customer or a customer. But you have to go really deep with the people that have bought from you, and explain, if you can even talk about the products that they bought from you, which builds the brand and if they liked the brand, and they liked that product, you're building reinforcement for the next product. And if you're sending an email that you're sending to a prospect who's never bought from you to a three-time buyer of your products, it's such a waste of potential equity that you've built up with that customer that's happy. So I think that's one of the biggest mistakes people make is one size fits all creative to a list.

Cheryl Hodgson [15:52]

I think that's very interesting because I'll share an example and I won't say who they are, but I have several financial newsletter type things I subscribe to. And there's one in particular and I've quit them twice and I'm about to do it for a third time, for that exact reason. Because I bought more of an entry level product, and it's a one-year subscription, but I never feel like I'm getting fulfillment on what I bought. All I'm doing is getting constant bombardment to buy something else. For thousands and thousands of dollars.

Brian Kurtz [16:24]

That's the opposite of a one hit wonder. So if you're a company that has one product, and you have nothing else to sell, you can go a mile deep with that. If you have a bunch of SKUs or a bunch of products, you might want to sell the first product to them. But you need to reinforce what's there. And the second product should certainly, if it's going to be a second product, it's got to be related to the first, or it's got to be a premium edition, or it's got to be something that's so special, but not just throw everything. And most companies, if they have multiple products, and they're in a line in terms of a promotion line, you'll just get them in the promotion line. So you might buy the first product, using your example, you're in an entry level product. And the next product in line is the sixth product that they have, which has nothing to do with the first product but it happens to be ready to promote to The List. Now, to not segment that list, this what we learned in direct mail, that you've got to segment the list and decide who gets what message when. And I think your point is even more important, which is, "make sure that the first product, they're fulfilled, that they're getting everything that they can get before you go on."

Cheryl Hodgson [17:41]

That's really the issue.

Brian Kurtz [17:43]

It's both. But you have to go for the premium edition of that first product or some special aspect of it that could sell you immediately if you're satisfied with the first product.

Cheryl Hodgson [17:57]

Not to pick on them, but the financial services industry has this game, and it does start to drive me crazy, they all do the same thing, which is they bait you with some stock that has returned 5,000%, and learn all about the stock right? But then they have some video or some webinar that they put on, and you can't stop-start it, and you have to listen all the way to the end for an hour and a half before you even find out what that stock is!

Brian Kurtz [18:25]

Financial Services is a tough business. In direct mail, they'll bait you so to speak, to come to a steak dinner, that you have to go to and you have to sit through the presentation, it's like going to a timeshare. But that's how they get prospects. And if they can lure you in with a steak dinner at Ruth's Chris, and they could they could get a third of the room to invest with them, that's a good way to do it. I think there are better ways if you're a high-end financial services person, there are so many better ways to get a client than do that. Now, that's the easy way and it works for a lot of people. But you can differentiate yourself just based on that. Like you could go out with an email that says, "I could invite you to a steak dinner, but then I'm spending my time and money on the steak, when I can give you, these 15 stocks" or whatever. There's a lot of ways to combat the Anyhow or Any Way business with differentiation. And, differentiation is so, so important when you're in a commodity-type business. Most financial services people can't differentiate themselves at all. So how do you differentiate them? And you've got to differentiate them through personal service or, it doesn't have to be a gimmick, but it's got to be a way to invest, like they have a system or something like that.

Cheryl Hodgson [19:57]

Well, it comes down to that, I don't use the word loosely, but the word "Personal Brand" comes to mind in that regard, because the exact thing you're talking about applies to attorneys, real estate brokers, and for individual professionals. It's become huge. Because none of these professionals, even 15 years ago, were online. I was just having a conversation with some friends of mine last night here in Portland, which was, when I started out as an attorney, lawyers weren't allowed to advertise, it was considered unethical.

Brian Kurtz [20:33]

There are mastermind groups for attorneys who want to learn marketing, and these groups teach you how to write a book. Now you don't have to write your memoir or your opus. In your field, write a 100-page book on your philosophy of that, and you've differentiated yourself by 90%. You're now in a group of probably 5% or less of all lawyers who are personal branding themselves in that area, with some data about what you know that no other lawyers know. Now the other lawyers know it. But you now have convinced them that you know something that they don't. And that's a differentiator that can take you very, very far. And that's why there are mastermind groups for lawyers, for accountants, for chiropractors, for dentists, they all have them. And those are the people that are getting the leg up on everybody else who's just throwing out whatever.

Cheryl Hodgson [21:34]

You almost have to now because everyone's online, and then how do you stand out?

Brian Kurtz [21:40]

You can differentiate through direct mail. Since everybody's online, the least crowded inbox is the one you grew up with. You and I are old enough to have grown up with a mailbox. And I'm not saying direct mail is the medium of choice, but it's a very, very important one, it's something else that you can add to your mix. Look at realtors. Realtors send you the same postcard that says, "We sold a house on your block. We could sell yours." That works. But how about you send out a 9 x 12 envelope with a newsletter inside, and the envelope says, "The five biggest reasons why not to use a realtor." And you open it up, and it tells you all the things that a realtor does that will piss you off, or that rips you off, or whatever. And then you say, "Look, I'm not that kind of realtor, you can use me or never use me but these tips are really good. But if you want to use me, here's my number." But you have to finesse that a lot more. But that's something that no one is doing or 1% of realtors are doing and that could separate you from every single realtor out there.

Cheryl Hodgson [22:47]

So that's how our friend Joe Polish built his years ago his carpet cleaning.

Brian Kurtz [23:52]

I was involved with him then. I used to speak at his carpet cleaner conferences. So carpet cleaners, Joe, was basically selling them on direct response marketing. He would get all of these ads for direct response marketing, and show how they applied to carpet cleaning. Then when he had the carpet cleaning business for a while, and he was teaching all these people, he'd get the best promotions from all of those carpet cleaners, put them in a book, and then they'd come to the conference for carpet cleaners. And the carpet cleaner in Des Moines did something that was amazing, and the carpet cleaner in San Jose could use that. They're not competing, because it's all regional. And now they've got these usable marketing pieces that they could use. But you can do it in any service, business, any kind of business. And again, it comes down to marketing. Look, marketing isn't everything. But it's the only thing. And when I say that, it's not to say that you have to be a marketing whore and sell to everybody all the time. But you've got to understand that you've got to differentiate yourself or you're going nowhere.

Cheryl Hodgson [23:57]

I think it goes back to what you're just saying, it's a form of contribution. Because I've taken that path in one of my narrow issues with niches as an attorney, which happens to be trademark protection, because I've done it for so many years. And I began to see, it's been going on for 20 years. There are all these scams going on to bilk money out of people based on phony watch services, companies supposedly sending you renewal notices.

Brian Kurtz [24:29]

I get renewal notices to my trademark all the time, and they're all scams.

Cheryl Hodgson [24:31]

They're all scams, and it turns out, and I've filed complaints and I've called and I've had conversations with the trademark office. Their hands are tied. They're an administrative agency, they have no governmental enforcement power whatsoever. They can't do anything. So I actually, I am that's why I wrote the book. And one of the chapters is How to Avoid Scams and Rip-offs.

Brian Kurtz [24:53]

I would use that as; you could take your book and use that for different promotions. You have to say it's a promotion because it's legal. But you could go out with, "How do you avoid trademark promotions?” And you could use that as a marketing piece. It's fantastic.

Cheryl Hodgson [25:14]

Well, I created the marketing piece, I already have the PDF and I copied it because one of the Genius Network for those of you who don't know, Brian and I met in Joe Polish's Genius Network, which is a phenomenal group of individuals. And Joel actually said to me at one of the meetings a couple years ago, I said, "Well, is it okay if I use that?" Because he has the old website up, right? I forget what the URL is. But it's the old website from the carpet cleaning days. And he said, "Oh, absolutely. Go use it.” And I literally sat down and I took my content and put it into his thing about, "Skip Six Scams and Rip-offs”, "Eight Things to Ask Before You Hire a Lawyer".

Brian Kurtz [25:52]

It's called Swipe and Deploy. It says that, "Stealing is a felony, but stealing smart is an art."

Cheryl Hodgson [26:00]

I haven't heard that before!

Brian Kurtz [26:01]

And you created art. And that's tremendous. And that's exactly what we're talking about. You took techniques that are tried and true in direct response. Because Joe didn't devise those, Joe got them from Gary Halbert, and Gary Halbert got it from Claude Hopkins. These things have been around forever. And so to not go back and update all these things that work is a crime. And you can do it, and you can do it in your industry. And it's just phenomenal that what you can accomplish just by a little ingenuity, which you have a lot of.

Cheryl Hodgson [26:37]

Oh, well, thank you. I don't know, we'll see how it goes. But I do want to follow up on one thing before we finish because you have such a background in direct marketing. How do you see and you've touched on it a little bit, but it's direct marketing dead?

Brian Kurtz [26:52]

Oh, no. What's dead is people who are closed-minded. And also some people think direct marketing means direct mail. It doesn't. Direct marketing is everything. Now, I use "Direct Response Marketing" just because people have bastardized the term meaning that it's direct mail. Direct Marketing is not only not dead, it's probably more alive today than ever. The internet is the ultimate direct marketing medium. You buy, sometimes you get free publicity and free stuff and you can make that payout because you haven't paid anything. But every medium you have to pay for. You got to pay for Facebook advertising, you've got to pay to be on Amazon, you've got to pay for all these things. And direct market all direct marketing is saying is that it's measurable marketing. And so some people say direct mail is dead and that's, that's a crock also because direct mail is just different now than it was. Direct mail in the 80s was big lists, mailing millions of names for low price products. And that was a business. That was a business that, Boardroom created 150-million-dollar business from that. Now, it's hard to do that on direct mail alone these days, but to not employ every medium that you can get your hands on that will work for you? That's a crime! I mean, will direct response radio work for you? Will direct response TV work for you? Will newspaper advertising work for you? Will Facebook work for you? Will email work for you? It's all a great design that you design yourself, and you can't be in everything. But you've got to choose. I mean, Perry Marshall, who's a great direct response marketer online. He does Google AdWords, he does Facebook, but he has a thing he calls Maze2.0. And what he does is, he's got different grids. He's got this big grid, and he's got four areas, you have Web, the Internet, and you have a non-web or offline, and you have Live, and you have Recorded. And you can put every medium in one of these four quadrants. And there are thousands of them. Advertising opportunities are like infinite. So basically, what you do is you don't have to be in everything, but you pick, if you pick one or two things in each of those quadrants, it'll look like you're everywhere when you're not everywhere. And that's how you build a brand as well.

Cheryl Hodgson [29:26]

And what are the quadrants?

Brian Kurtz [29:28]

It's basically two lines. So you have at the top of one line, I think it's web, online versus offline. And then the other one, the horizontal axis, is live versus recorded. And you can put everything in one of those four quadrants. So you talk about Facebook, Facebook could be live, and it's going to be Web, or it could be Recorded and Web. Direct Mail is going to be Recorded, or not Live, and Offline. So you put all these things and you decide what you want to be in. And you test. And you test in small quantities, you test in small dollar amounts. And that's what direct marketing is about. That's what direct marketing is about. You test something, you test and see if you have a business. You see if you can pyramid on it. If you can pyramid on it and make your money back at some point in the near future, you leave that and go to another thing, or you retest within that with new creative and new lists and new offers. But direct marketing is, you've got me on a little bit of a roll there, but direct marketing is not only not dead, it's more alive than it's ever been.

Cheryl Hodgson [30:42]

That is powerful what you just shared. Because I love what you just said about the fact that you test it to find out. And it ties remarkably to branding for this reason: The biggest challenge anyone that represents a big multinational brand will tell you, at any level, whether it's lawyers, whether it's the branding people, the number one challenge now is there are so many mediums and platforms, right that they have to manage. I had the pleasure of interviewing a woman who is the head of IP for all of Xerox, she has 160 brand managers around the world. She has to have a weekly phone call with 160 people just to stay on top of...

Brian Kurtz [31:27]

Just to decide what you want to do.

Cheryl Hodgson [31:30]

And what domains they're using in each territory. And how it all translates culturally. And it's an enormous task.

Brian Kurtz [31:38]

Advertising opportunity. I have it in my book, advertising opportunities are now infinite. And to not choose different things that work for you. And you've got to be multi-channel and I have a chapter on customer service and fulfillment. I have another chapter in my book on Multi-Channel Marketing. Multi-Channel is probably the most important thing you can do in marketing today. You can't be in one channel, there are companies that are in only Facebook, and Facebook shuts them down, they're out of business. I had a company that I work with that they were doing $30 million on Amazon, Amazon alone. Amazon one day said "I don't like your ads. You're off." Out of business. You've got to be on multiple channels!

Cheryl Hodgson [32:20]

Yeah, absolutely. And that's the gift, but it's also the challenge for brand building. And before we finish, because there's one last thing I did want to address, because I loved your comment at the beginning where we talked about the word “Branding” giving you hives, which is, what's the immediate return on investment? And the one thing I can say in my experience that I would share, and I think we talked a little bit about this is, when you're playing the long game, and building a business, the building the brand may not be what you start out thinking about. But in my experience, and the people I've represented, buying and selling companies, or when the investors show up for that round of funding, the number one thing when it comes to doing the due diligence, they don't ask about anything other than your IP. The first question they have is, what do you own? What is your brand? What is your intellectual property? What have you protected?

Brian Kurtz [33:13]

Yeah, I think in direct marketing, the first thing in addition to that, it's actually always the List too.

Cheryl Hodgson [33:20]

Well, the List is intellectual property.

Brian Kurtz [33:22]

It is, but I mean, if you've developed a brand that goes beyond just a list then you've got that too. But I think that's the due diligence that you do. It is all about the brand.

Cheryl Hodgson [33:44]

Well, thank you so much. There's so much we could cover. And I hope that you'll be willing to come back and we'll have Part Two somewhere along the way.

Brian Kurtz [33:41]

Yeah, let me tell you about my book.

Cheryl Hodgson [33:43]

Oh, yes. I'd love to hear about your book. Do you have a gift you'd love to share with the audience?

Brian Kurtz [33:48]

Obviously, this book is something I'm really proud of. And if your audience want to go to www.OverdeliverBook.com, you will arrive at a site that, the stuff on that site is worth thousands of dollars. This book is like $17. So the book is nothing compared to what I have on the site. The site is products from some of the greatest direct marketers of all time, Jay Abraham, Gary Ben Zabanga, Dan Kennedy, just amazing, amazing stuff. And if you buy the book, you come to the site, you go out and buy the book at various places anywhere you want, you come back to the site, you put your email in, and you get access to all of these bonuses. I think I had to overdeliver, because the book's called Overdeliver. So I over delivered on the site. It's a really wonderful site. So that would be the best way to get on my list and to be part of my world. If you want to be part of my world, you might have listened to me today and said, "I don't want to be part of this guy's world". Then don't go there.

Cheryl Hodgson [34:55]

We'll also post this in the show notes, so if someone is listening by audio, they'll be able to see it in the show notes. So we'll have it all listed for them.

Brian Kurtz [35:03]

I'd say if you're too cheap to pay $17 for thousands of dollars’ worth of bonuses, and you want to just go to a site where there's a lot of free content and all of that,

Cheryl Hodgson [35:13]

Jay Abraham alone is worth...

Brian Kurtz [35:16]

I know it. www.BrianKurtz.net is my website and you can go there. There's a lot of free content there. I have all my blog posts from the last five years on there. So you can go there, a lot of free content, and have fun there if you want. So it's either www.OverdeliverBook.com or www.BrianKurtz.net, but I hope people will go there and check it out.

Cheryl Hodgson [35:36]

We will make sure they have the info. And two quick final questions. One is a comment. I understand there's one little known fact about you, you said that people that know you know, but what most people wouldn't know about you.

Brian Kurtz [35:49]

I'm a high school varsity umpire in baseball. And also, I do tournament Little League umpiring. And I use that in the chapter on Customer Service and Fulfillment, because I see a particular similarity between the customer service and fulfillment person on the phone, who nobody knows who they are until they screw up, and then hell breaks loose and then they're in trouble. Same with the umpire. No one comes to a game to see an umpire. But when the umpire blows a call, they are all over me. Of course, I've never missed a call, so.

Cheryl Hodgson [36:20]

You've never missed a call!

Brian Kurtz [36:22]

Never. So I think that the reason why I like doing it is for two reasons. One, it gives me a focus away from marketing, away from everything else. And because it's two and a half hours calling balls and strikes, and if I miss one pitch, I get yelled at. So I'm really focused and not thinking about what happened during the day. I'm really focused just on that. But also, it's an interesting thing. If you ever have any, either insecurities, or you have a big ego. Either one. That it'll tame either of those very quickly. Because you're going in and you do a great game. I do my best game ever. Don't miss a call. I just have a superb game. The best you're going to get is "Nice game, ump." No one is congratulating you on calling a good game. And it's a gift to have that as my hobby because it really keeps your ego in check. It keeps you on the straight and narrow. So that's really cool.

Cheryl Hodgson [37:24]

Yeah, well, I would try umpiring, but I have the same problem as a lawyer. Very few clients call their lawyer and tell you they love you.

Brian Kurtz [37:34]

But a lot of times they come to you in real need and that you can solve a problem. You'll get a little more accolades than an umpire gets, I think. If you solve their problem. solve their problem.

Cheryl Hodgson [37:47]

Okay, last question before we wrap it up is, "what is the one thing either personally or professionally on your bucket list that you aspire to in 2020?"

Brian Kurtz [37:59]

I don't think I'm going to get there in 2020. It has to do with umpiring. It's the umpire in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. I've been to a World Series but not a Williamsport in South Carolina for 16-18-year olds. And that was 11 years ago. And I've been to the eastern regionals like six years ago, and I'm on the list for Williamsport. I may never get there, but that's a bucket list thing that I really like to do. And then as far as travel, and things like that, I want to go to certain places, but I'll get there. But Williamsport would be the bucket list.

Cheryl Hodgson [38:40]

When is that coming up? Is it a certain day?

Brian Kurtz [38:42]

It's in August, and they usually let you know right around this time of year. I applied in November, and they let you know right around the new year.

Cheryl Hodgson [38:51]

Okay, well, I'm going to set some good vibe intentions for you. Keep us posted. Well, thanks again for joining us and we will see you down the road.

Brian Kurtz [39:01]

Thanks Cheryl.

Brian Kurtz has had two careers. The first spanned 34 years as the force behind Boardroom, Inc, an iconic publisher and direct marketer. As a business to consumer marketer at Boardroom, Brian was responsible for selling over a billion dollars of products, $39 at a time, to millions of individuals. He's also the founder of Titans Marketing, a direct marketing educational and coaching business. At Titans Marketing, Brian has sold over $5 million worth of products and services, enabling thousands of people to spread the gospel of direct marketing to millions. Brian's most recent book is Overdeliver: Build a Business for a Lifetime Playing the Long Game in Direct Response Marketing. It is his opus, but not a memoir. During both careers, Brian has been committed to overdelivering for over four decades.

Whether you are CEO of your own evolving brand, or you are serving as guide and mentor to other emerging brand owners, it's important to include legal protection for valuable brand assets. Brand names and logos as well as other intellectual property are often the most valuable business assets a company will ever own. Registered trademarks or product names, logos, and slogans, are a potent weapon against domain hijackers, cybersquatters, as well as other later entrants into the market. In my international bestselling book, Registered Trademark: The Business Owner's Guide to Brand Protection, I reveal my simple three-step process to help select, secure, and sustain protection for your own brand dream team. And I'll share how to bulletproof your business both online and off. As my special gift to our listeners, you can receive a free copy of my book, simply go to Brandaide.com/freegift to receive your copy today. And you'll pay only for shipping and handling.

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Select | Secure | Sustain

My three-step system for a brand

BUILT TO LAST

The Business Owners Guide to Brand Protection reveals my proven three-step system to bullet proof your brand assets online and off, while you build a lasting legacy.